Arthritis and Pain Management

We would rather prevent pain than treat pain.
— Parker Vet

Multi-Modal Arthritis Treatment

Stiffness and pain does not just have to be a part of getting older. There is no cure for arthritis in pets, but there are many ways to improve mobility and relieve the pain it causes. We have a multi-modal approach to arthritis management for our pets.

Our Arthritis and Pain Management Services Include

Class IV Light Therapy Laser

Don’t you sometimes wish you could wave a magic wand and take away your pet’s pain? Although not actually “magic”, the Class IV Therapy Laser uses a wand that sends focused beams of light to stimulate healing cells to help reduce inflammation, reduce pain, and speed healing. The Class IV Therapy Laser is the newest and most powerful therapy laser available. It is FDA approved for use in humans where it is commonly used for sports injuries and chronic pain.

Please note, the Class IV Therapy Laser is different than the CO2 Laser used for surgery.

What Does It Do?

  • Helps decrease inflammation
  • Increases blood flow
  • Stabilizes damaged cellsLaser Therapy Dog
  • Decreases pain
  • Laser Therapy Dog

What Can It Be Used For?

  • Arthritis
  • Inflammation associated with ear infections
  • Anal gland issues
  • Hot spots
  • Acute injuries
  • Any situation that may be painful or need fast healing

At PCAC, we “laser” incision sites after surgery and oral surgery to promote faster, less painful healing.

How Does It Work?

The Class IV Laser Therapy is completely painless, in fact, the gentle warmth it produces is often comforting and soothing to pets. Your pet will sit or lie comfortably during the procedure (with you if you prefer) while the technician administers the laser.

Sessions usually last 2-5 minutes per site. Multiple sites can be treated at each session. A typical treatment of a chronic condition (i.e. arthritis) might consist of 3 treatments the first week, 2 in the second, 1 in the third week, and then 1 treatment per month. Packages are available for the first 7 session treatment plan if recommended by your veterinarian.

Often owners are noticing a difference in their pet after the first session. Each pet is unique, however, and treatments will vary. Please contact us if you are interested in Class IV Laser Therapy at 303-841-8833.

Arthritis Pain

To prevent your knees from hurting, you take glucosamine and chondroiton. When your joints hurt you take ibuprofen. For dogs and cats we carry Dasuquin, a glucoasmine and chondroiton supplement formulated in easy-to-give capsules, chewables, and food additives for dogs and cats. We also carry and can prescribe (if recommended by your veterinarian) Rimadyl, Galliprant, Onsior, and Metacam. These NSAIDs help reduce inflammation and pain associated with arthritis. If your pet is prescribed one of these, annual bloodwork to evaluate kidney and liver function, as well as all other organ functions and cell counts, will be recommended. These NSAIDs are also formulated specifically for dogs and cats. DO NOT give your pet ibuprofen, aspirin, or acetimenophen. These medications are for human use and can cause illness and even death in animals.

Adequan may also be recommended for the treatment and prevention of arthritis. This injection is given in a series of 7 initial injections 2-3 days apart, then once every 25 days. Adequan helps rebuild and maintain the joint cartilage destroyed by arthritis.

Diet and Weight Control

In both senses of the word, diet is important to managing your pet’s arthritis and the pain associated with inflammation.

Weight Control

In arthritic pets, any extra weight and pressure on the joints will compound the pain and inflammation for your pet. Keeping your pet at a healthy, ideal weight can help alleviate that pressure and keep your pet feeling better.

Your veterinarian can discuss healthy lifestyle changes with you as arthritic pets do require special instructions for weight loss. Moderate, not extreme, exercise may be recommended not only to help your pet lose weight, but also help strengthen and stretch the muscles that protect the joints.

Food Choice

Many supplements exist that contain anti-inflammatory properties, but our clients notice the best results when they change their pet’s diet to one specifically for joint health. We recommend Hill’s j/d for cats and dogs. This diet contains appropriate levels of glucosamine and chondroiton as well as Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. This diet can help decrease inflammation, increase production of lean muscle, and help block the breakdown of cartilage.

Your veterinarian may also recommend your pet begin by loosing a few pounds. Foods that are specifically low-calorie or Hill’s Metabolic diet can help your pet get to a healthy maintenance weight. For a combination weight loss and joint support diet Hill’s Metabolic + Mobility can be very beneficial.

Few things a doctor does are more important than relieving pain… pain is soul destroying. No patient should have to endure intense pain unnecessarily. The quality of mercy is essential to the practice of medicine; here, of all places, it should not be strained.
— Marcia Angell

Multi-Modal Pain Control

When we are in pain, we are able to go to our doctor and on a smiley face chart, point out how bad it is. Our pets don’t talk, so it is up to you, their owner and us, their veterinarian to understand and manage the pain as best as possible.

Surgical Pain

All of our patients are treated with a multi-model approach to pain management when undergoing any surgical procedure. This means they are given pain medication before, during, and after every procedure. We utilize the latest proven protocols in anesthesia and pain management including local anesthesia, and nerve blocks, morphine/buprenorphine, Dexdomitor, and Rimadyl/Metacam, allowing us to use less anesthetic and minimize your pet’s pain. Research has shown that managing post-operative pain leads to better and faster healing. While it may seem that if a pet is in a little bit of pain, they will better regulate their own activity to prevent worsening the pain, the fact is that the more pain they are in, the more difficult it is for their body to heal.

  • Laparoscopic surgery allows finer and more precise techniques further decreasing pain in those surgeries where it is applied.
  • Laser surgery also helps reduce pain, as the laser is a less painful cutting technique than the scalpel sealing tissues as it cuts.
  • The laser therapy performed at each incision site at PCAC helps reduce pain and speed healing as well.

Other Pain

Pain can come from many areas arthritis and surgical incisions are just a couple places. A cat with a persistent bladder infection will feel pain from the inflammation and straining to urinate. A dog with gluacoma can have intense pressure in his head, like having a migrane 24/7. Pets have a natural instinct to hide their pain from us and the extent of pain may not be known until it is too extreme for them to hide anymore. Many of these medications and other pain management tools can be used to keep your pet comfortable during their time of healing or hospice care.

Pain is inevitable. Suffering is a choice. For more detailed information on pain management, visit AAHA’s Pain Management Guidelines.

What Our Clients are Saying

The staff and docs are great, not only with pets, but with people too. They appear to have state of the art equipment. I really appreciate how accessible the docs and techs are with phone inquiries to follow-up care.

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